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1st trip to Botswana OR South Africa? I'm PETRIFIED of both!


Mar 6th, 2012, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,205
I've only skimmed the previous replies, so apologies if I'm repeating myself.

Firstly, regarding malaria meds... I would suggest you visit your doctor and explain your concerns, and ask if he would be able to prescribe you some test doses of the anti-malarial he would recommend, and you can try it at home, now, and see whether you react poorly to it. He may suggest malarone, which I believe causes side effects in far less people than other options, though some people do, of course, still get them. Another advantage is that you don't have to take it weeks in advance or afterwards. Take it with food, as directed. If you do react, go back and ask if you can try an alternative. I think chances are pretty good you will find one of the anti-malarials suitable for you.

Most of the cases of people getting malaria that I've come across have been people who've not taken any anti-malarials at all, or, one further questioning, have not been consistent about taking them, so missed several days out because they forgot...

Combining your meds with careful behaviour - full sleeve shirts, trousers and socks, closed shoes, insect repellent and mosquito nets at night (if you're travelling in season) really reduces the risks VERY much indeed.

The other fear factor is car jacking...

We did a 5 week self-drive in South Africa and felt very comfortable throughout, though a little simple research ahead of time on a few areas to avoid, helped us reduce risks hugely. And we didn't drive in the dark much either.

In your case, I'd simply not choose a self-drive trip, and go for a fly-in safari - that means you take small planes directly between camps, so there's no chance you'll get carjacked. And even if you book car transfers, when you're driven by experts/ locals it's again highly unlikely you'll be jacked. They won't even take you through dangerous areas, and their vehicles aren't likely to be targetted anyway.

If you have the budget, I'd recommend that you book a private itinerary taking in a number of luxury camps in either Botswana or South Africa. My preference would be Botswana, and the camps are so isolated and secure that you will really relax and be able to enjoy the experience.

There are US-based agencies such as Fish Eagle Safaris and many others, that folks here can suggest, who know the best places to go, and can design perfect itineraries based on your budget and the wildlife you and your husband would most love to see, whether that be elephants or cheetahs or giraffes or dikdik...

Wilderness Safari is a Southern African luxury safari camp business with many excellent camps, offering high levels of comfort, great game viewing, very professional on all levels. You also have Kwando and other companies, I haven't yet experienced them personally.

My husband was nervous about the idea of African safari before our first trip, and he couldn't really see the attraction either. He's now at LEAST as addicted as I am!
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Mar 6th, 2012, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I mean repeating what other people have said, not "myself"... doh!

I see you've already narrowed down to South Africa.

Depending on how long you have a few days or a week in Cape Town, the winelands and the garden route would combine well with 1-2 weeks on safari, for which I'd head East. The private reserves may suit you best, since driving may be an adventure too far given your fears... the luxury camps/ lodges in private reserves will likely give you a fantastic wildlife experience in very comfortable surroundings.

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